2nd painting of the triptych "The magic of the word"

1916, size: 8.10 x 6.10 m

The painting captures the last sermon of Master Jan Hus in the Bethlehem Chapel in 1412. The chapel originally had four naves and a Gothic vault. It was named to honour the children murdered at Herod's command after Jesus Christ was born. In Hus's time, it was the only place in Prague where sermons were preached in Czech. The chapel is painted from the view of someone sitting at the altar steps. Master Jan Hus preaches to Prague citizens of all classes. Pupils sit under the pulpit, listen and carefully take notes. At that time, Master Jan was not only a preacher but also the rector of Charles University. On the left, near the chapel wall and next to a veiled figure in white, there is Jan Žižka of Trocnov, at the time a courtier of King Wenceslas IV and Queen Sophia's doorman. The man clad in black sitting in front of him is the tradesman Kříž, who donated part of the land to construct the chapel. Next to him, dressed in red, is Hanuš of Mülheim, who obtained a building permit and provided funds to build the chapel.

Under the canopy on the right, Queen Sophia watches the sermon. Jan Hus was her confessor, and she had often defended him in front of her spouse, King Wenceslas IV. Her lady-in-waiting has the appearance of Mucha's wife Marie, née Chytilová. This figure looks to the right, where a hooded figure lurks in the corner behind the Romanesque baptismal font. He spies for Catholic priests who want to be informed about the content of Hus's sermons. When preaching, Hus fought against the church's iniquities and selling indulgences as a form of repentance.

In 1412, an interdict was declared over Prague, banning all church rites, and it was in effect until Jan Hus left the city.

The painting was created in 1916 when a residential house still stood on the site of the former Bethlehem Chapel. Prominent Czech historians and the Club for Old Prague have led the effort to rebuild the chapel. In 1948, the Czech government approved the Bethlehem Chapel restoration. The renovation was carried out based on the project of Ing. prof. architect Jaroslav Fragner and completed in 1954. Therefore, the chapel's interior painted in the picture does not correspond with its current state.